In a way that's reminiscent of how Beckham's contract, instead of being reported as simply 5 million plus incentives, was listed everywhere as $250 million (the upper limit if all incentives and sponsorships maxed out), Alexi Lalas' recent words about David Beckham were mischaracterized all over the world.
Lalas never said Beckham couldn't play a friendly on a FIFA-approved date. He went out of his way to say Beckham getting called up was a wonderful thing. He said that the Galaxy would be willing to release Beckham for competitive matches, but not for every friendly that came along, because his club needs him.
Of course Lalas was aware that clubs need to be FIFA-compliant on official dates set aside for friendlies, (notice there are only two listed for all of 2007) but he also knows that many friendlies aren't on those days. For example, the U.S./Denmark match that kicked off the Bob Bradley era.
How, "We don't want Beckham to play in every friendly" becomes "We will defy FIFA and keep Beckham from playing" well, just ask Pete Vagenas how easily press can spin quotes a certain way.
But FIFA couldn't resist the impulse to flex authoritative muscle, stating that all clubs must release players on FIFA international friendly dates.
Duh. Talk about making a story of a non-story.